Glan y Pwll

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Glan y Pwll
Glan y Pwll yard.jpg
The yard seen in 2007
Type Junction
Former loco shed, now engineering depot
Status Junction to carriage sheds
Engineering depot mothballed
Location
Latitude 52:59:45:15N
Longitude 03:56:54.28W
Grid reference SH693460
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Tanygrisiau Blaenau Ffestiniog
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Barlwyd Bridge Mainline: Stesion Fein
Branch: Dinas Branch 1899
Stations | Locations | Bridges | Tunnels | Map

Coordinates: 52°59′45″N 3°56′54″W / 52.99592°N 3.94828°W / 52.99592; -3.94828

Glan y Pwll (English: Shore of the pool) is a genteel suburb of Blaenau Ffestiniog, where the 1899 deviation to Dinas and Rhiwbryfdir used to branch from the main route to Duffws.

There was originally a locomotive depot here. That site is now an engineering depot. Additionally the line of the old branch has been used to access a new carriage shed built as an expansion to the depot.

History[edit]

KCB Glanypwll Composite.gif

First Junction[edit]

The loop line (orange on map) of the old Dinas Junction built in 1880 connected with the line to Duffws near Glan y Pwll.

Second Junction[edit]

The second junction here opened in 1899 and replaced the old Dinas Junction on the other side of the Barlwyd Bridge. The junction was moved because the new alignment of the branch (orange on map)) was further out from the quarries to avoid planned slate waste tipping by Oakley Quarries. The loop line was not replaced.

An engine shed, complete with turntable, was sited here in the Y between the Dinas branch and the Duffws mainline. England engines were turned for the down journey here. This shed replaced the one that was part of Dinas Station.

The railway crossed the old road from Rhiwbryfdir to Tanygrisiau here at a fully gated level crossing. The formation was double track from here onward to Duffws and fully signalled with McKenzie & Holland semaphores. The two lines were operated as a passenger single line and mineral single line rather than the usual up and down lines.

There were staff instruments here for the single lines. Prior to 1899 they were in the crossing keepers house/barracks. After the opening of the junction in 1899 they moved to a new signal box on the clock side of the line between the level crossing and the old footbridge to the school. This location had views towards Stesion Fein and back down the line across the level crossing. This signal box had 19 levers with one spare. According to Boyd, this box closed in September 1924. There is a cryptic set of correspondence contained within XD97/19495 that indicates this signal box was still open in September 1925.

Signal Box and crossing with Livingston Thompson passing on a down train in the 1930s. Photo: Adrian Gray collection

Reopening[edit]

In preparation for the re-opening to Blaenau Ffestiniog, Glan-y-pwll was used as a base for the rebuilding of the line north of Tanygrisiau. This started as early as August 1973 with clearing the Old Loco Shed, and securing the compound. Almost all the early work was done by volunteers from the London Area Group. Once the shed was made secure the loco Diana was shedded there and a start was made on putting the track into a good enough state for PW trains.

The shed was extended and fitted out as a workshop, and became the base of Andy Puttnam's Civil Engineer's department. It then became part of Boston Lodge and was used for wagon maintenance. Upon Puttnam's death, the workshops were mothballed, apart from occasional use by S&T and a skip wagon repair gang.

The old Crossing House "barracks" used as a hostel for some time. The crossing house and engine shed are the only FR owned pre-1946 buildings in Blaenau.

The level crossing has been convereted to automatic (AOCL) operration with warning lights for traffic. Only one track has been relaid to Blaenau Ffestiniog. However the formation is wide enough for two and the rails for the second line are in place over the level crossing, though disconnected, as part of the never carried out scheme to build a line to the tourist attractions at Llechwedd Quarry.

In 1997, facilities were extended by the construction of a large carriage shed for winter and overnight storage. To provide access to it the 1899 Dinas branch was relaid as far as the first river bridge (which has been removed).

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]